How To Get Your Kids to Listen to You

As a parent or guardian, it is important that children listen to you. This is not a means of bossing them around but a parent or guardian’s job is to help guide kids down the right path, to teach them valuable life lessons, to help dispense a sense of purpose and responsibility and to make sure that they take care of themselves and remain mindful. At times, it can be difficult to get children to listen and many parents grow frustrated with the difficulties. You may not know what to do or how to handle a situation, but there are some ways you can help better ensure that kids listen to you and that your relationship remains healthy.

Get on Their Level
When parents and guardians get frustrated, some often tend to resort to yelling. However, this does not help any situation and can possibly make matters worse. In order to get another person to listen to you, it helps to better understand why they may not be responsive. Get on your child’s level in order to gain some perspective. Some kids may not be actively trying to ignore their parents but they may simply be acting their age. Try to understand why your child may not be listening and go from there before doing anything else.

Make Your Presence Known
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous at times. If children are distracted, it may be more a testament to their age and the current level of their brain development rather than a conscious desire to ignore you. You don’t have to do anything drastic, but sometimes a tap on the shoulder, a gentle touch at the elbow or another sign that you are present can help bring their attention and focus to you and what you have to say to them.

Define Your Limits
Many parents might find themselves yelling their throats hoarse by yelling and calling their child’s name through the house that dinner is ready or it is time to leave for school. Some kids may simply tune out this noise or not understand the urgency, so it is essential to lay down some ground rules. Sit your child down and explain to them what it means when you call their names and what it is that you would like for them to do in response. Tell them that you would like for them to come to you or at least respond, it’s about being respectful. For example: “I would be happy to ask you to put your jacket on but after that we are walking to the car without you.” Let them know that listening is not so much as taking orders from you but more so an integral part of working as a team with the whole family. When it comes to other things such as bedtime, try a three-minute warning, such as “You have three minutes to finish playing your game but when those three minutes are up it is time for bed.” Giving them some space but still laying down rules can help them understand that what you are telling them is important while still giving them some space, as opposed to turning things off without warning or yelling, and calling their name repeatedly.

Communicate Effectively
Children are people in the making, and by explaining to your child why you are telling them what you want can help them understand why they need to do the things that you say. Instead of saying “Because I said so,” so many times, taking the time to explain your reasons and why some things are important will help children listen in the future so that you may not even have to take these extra measures if they take it to heart. Children are people, too, and by understanding them and having them understanding you they can begin to better understand why you tell them to do certain things without feeling like you are bossing them around or being unfair.

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Teaching Kids Manners

There are many things that a child will only really learn from their parents or guardians. While it helps to get kids started on math, reading and other basic academic schools at home, teaching kids these subjects from the ground up is not always the sole task of the parent. With school, kids can benefit from a head start, but will learn most of what they need to know from their teachers and aides. But there are some basic life skills that parents and guardians do need to teach their children, because no one else, especially not strangers, will step up to the plate. One of these things happens to be good manners.
Parents play an integral role in implementing a child’s many habits, from healthy eating to teeth brushing, but manners should also be considered important. As a parent or a guardian, it is your job to teach kids how to be people, how to be adults, how to interact with others, and how to be a valuable member of society. In order for that to happen, kids need to learn how to behave and how to act in a way that is conducive to building strong relationships with others and the world around them.
When it comes to teaching kids anything, it helps not to enforce it too much. As important as some things are, asserting too much aggression when trying to teach them something new can be damaging, especially when it is a habit that you would like for them to adopt and adapt to. Some children might be resistant to such tactics, but there are other ways to instill good core values in your children that will carry over into how they carry themselves.
Lead by example. Many experts agree that leading by example is one of the better ways to teach a child a new skill, a new habit, or to even instill their interest in something. Similar studies show that children are more likely to pick up a book or develop an interest in reading if they see that their parents read often when they are around. Kids like to be just like their parents, so setting a good example is a great way to start.

Be positive! Even when you are simply having a conversation, whether around your child or whether you are speaking to them directly, try to be positive. This applies to both tone of voice and vocabulary. Sharing things that are inherently positive is good too! Negativity or gossiping can affect children and the way they behave. If they see you swapping stories over coffee with another parent about other parents or their children, or even anything else in general, they may adopt that same behavior, tone of voice and generalized topic discussion with their friends or when speaking with others. If kids are used to talking positively at home, they will most likely carry these traits over to when they are at school or socializing with friends.

Use positive reinforcement. Taking note of when your child uses good manners on their own can help, too. Note when they say “please” and “thank you” and compliment them genuinely when you see them do something nice of their own volition. It’s one thing to “make” your children be polite, but if you see them act accordingly on their own, they are more likely to continue doing so.

Being polite and minding manners is more than just a social show-off. It can actually help kids’ academic success and will help strengthen their social skills. Minding manners is a big part of being a student in a classroom, and if kids know how they should be acting and do so, they will sit quietly throughout their lessons and pay attention. It is not the teacher’s job, necessarily, to tell kids how to behave but it is part of their job to enforce good behavior. Acting politely also helps kids thrive in social situations as well. As early as their days at playing in the park, a polite child will find more playmates willing to interact with them and may be better equipped to handle rude or difficult children, too.
Your Child is the Star of Each Story!